Now is as good a time as ever to start browsing/buying items for your college dorm. Many people wait until the last minute to start shopping, and truth be told, most things are sold out at that point. It is never too early to start making a list of things you may want in your dorm. This is where I come in. I created a list based on my own experiences and my friends’ experiences covering all the items we’ve found the most useful. I wanted to also create a list that would cover things outside of your “typical college checklist” (which would include: shower shoes, shower caddy, clothing hangers, etc).
Iowa provides nice basics for a dorm room: bed with mattress, desk with drawers, dresser, closet spaces, sink with storage below, as well as a mirror with storage built-in.
The first thing that comes to mind is additional storage items. It blew me away how easy it is to fill up all the provided storage. One thing that has really helped is a storage ottoman. This provides both seating and storage in the room. I found a collapsable one on amazon that we use for our snacks! My roommate also brought more drawers for her clothes. Additionally, a three-tier rolling cart is essential. My roommate and I use ours for miscellaneous items as well as our toothbrushes etc. They’re very convenient because they’re vertical storage meaning it’s more storage but not that much room!
I’ve also noticed my friends and I tend to hang out more in my friend’s rooms that have extra seating. A few of them have couches and others have a bean bag. Any comfortable place for guests to sit is really great for when you want to hang out with friends, or also a chill place to decompress in between classes.
One thing I did not expect to need as much as I did were slippers. I wear my slippers everywhere. Any shoes that are comfortable and easy to slip on before going to the bathroom, lounge, or friend’s room, are crucial to have on hand.
If you’re like me and tend to get sick very easily, making sure you have some Advil, allergy medications, vitamin C, tissues, or any other remedy nearby is a good call. I try to regularly take vitamins to boost my immune system and prevent myself from getting sick too often.
Mattress toppers are my best friend. I love a nice, soft, cozy bed, so I made sure to have the thickest mattress topper possible. Mattress toppers are relatively easy to find on Amazon, and they have so many options so you can find the one that works for you.
Other small things that I thought of that may not immediately come to mind are dishwater, a water bottle, a fan, bunk buddy (which you can buy at the IMU), extension cords and extra chargers, cleaning supplies, an umbrella, and a robe, just to name a few. It’s always important to really think about what items you may use the most, and what may seem trivial. If you have questions about what may be useful to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (DM me on Instagram @abbiechong_) or someone else you may know in college. Hopefully, this alleviated some stress you may have around shopping for college. I know how overwhelming it can feel because buying dorm things makes everything feel real. It’s better to start now than later, and helps calm the nerves in the long run, I promise!
As always, go hawks!